Report on the activities of the Community of Interest

Confidential report D7.5 delivered to European Commission

The POWER4BIO project aims to help Central and Eastern European regions develop their biomass-based economic strategy. The development of a stakeholder engagement strategy has played an important role in achieving this goal. To achieving this goal, the consortium established the Community of Interest (CoI) umbrella group with the help of month-long e-conferences. 265 people attended at the month-long e-conference, of whom 28 were selected to join the CoI members. Sixty percent of the selected members came from Central and Eastern European countries, while 40 percent came from a Western European country.

The purpose of the Group was to add critical mass beyond the consortium by bringing additional stakeholders (from non-participants regions), particularly practitioners, into continuous contact with the work of POWER4BIO from its inception to its latest stage. The CoI tried to foster a dialogue over time between the consortium and other actors, especially but not only in the CEE macro-region. This dialogue allowed the actors in regions not directly covered by POWER4BIO both to learn from the project’s work and also to contribute to the development and fine-tuning of its results and conclusions. The overall aim of the CoI was to operate as a learning and actions system/hub and thus distribute knowledge and facilitate exchange between European regions.

It was found that with the establishment of the Regional Bioeconomy Hubs (RBHs) in WP5, the tasks of the CoI group have diminished, as the goals of the two organizations were overlapped and the members were also represented in both organizations. In conclusion, the principle goals of the RBHs and the CoI are quite similar: to strengthen regional cooperation on bioeconomy by knowledge and experience exchange. As result, the CoI and the RBHs are more complementary than conflicted to each other, the RBHs seem to be strong and close enough to CoI members to involve, motivate and cooperate with them.